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Brains over Beauty

Brains over Beauty

"It's safe to say this is one of the more- or most-instrumented bridges in the nation," said Jon Chiglo, project manager for MnDOT told the Pioneer Press.

The new 234 million dollar I-35 Bridge was predicted to be completed by December, 24 2008. Not only is the bridge done considerably early, it has also created a lot of buzz technologically as well as aesthetically.

The new bridge will come fully equipped with bridge monitoring technology. Embedded sensors will analyze and process movement in expansion joints and bearings, weight management and overall bridge performance. The information will be sent through fiber-optic cables to MnDOT, and the University of Minnesota, whom are said to help analyze the incoming data.

Despite the technological advancements, some people are not pleased with the bridge’s appearance.

"We had an opportunity to build a signature bridge, and we didn't take it," said Jerry Foss, a real estate agent who lives nearby, to the Star Tribune.

Due to the bridge being a major transportation connection to Minneapolis, constructors note time as being a factor to the architecture.

"The first goal was to have a bridge that was safe and effective," Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said.

However, the new architecture could be beneficial in viewing the Mississippi due to the wider guardrail spacing.

In addition, both ends of the bridge will be marked with two sets of three vertical concrete “waves? which will stand more than 30 feet tall.

"It's to let the driver know in a sculptural way that they are crossing the river," Figg reported to the Star Tribune.

Note: The Pioneer Press reports the bridge’s opening this week as being three weeks ahead of schedule as opposed to the Pioneer Press noting the completion date as December, 24 2008.